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The Storm

We sat around a table in the Castanea railroad station, doing an EVP. Theresa's newest trick, a radio receiver, sat on the table, ready to pick up messages from ghosts.
Around the table sat Theresa, the team leader. Ailish, the photographer. Jen, the secretary. Millie, the EMF expert. Charlie, the rookie. And exchange student from Germany named Clara, staying with Theresa and Ailish. And me. The adventurer.
For practice, we were doing an investigation at the railroad station. Normally, we investigated the Heisey Museum. I was the one who gave the team access to both places. I'm the curator with the Clinton County Historical Society.

As it got dark, we returned to the museum. The oldest building in Lock Haven, the Heisey Museum had been a farmhouse, a hotel, a doctor's office, and the mayor's mansion. People had lived there and died there for the entire history of the city. It was the most haunted place in Lock Haven.
Theresa was setting up another one of her new tools, an IR illuminator. I walked upstairs to my office---I've been working at the museum four years, and it still amazes me that I rate an office---And I checked the weather.
I walked back down to the team. Millie, Jen, and Charlie were chatting in the West Parlor. I announced,"Gonna be a good night for this. Not only severe thunderstorm warnings, but a tornado warning, too."
"Cool," said Jen. "Be a good night to do your house."
"Yeah. Unfortunately, my wife is sitting around in bed, eating chips with her injured foot propped up."
I walked outside to the front walk, where they saw me through the window. Thunder, lightning, and dark clouds were moving in from the northwest. I cheered, and jumped in the air. I love thunderstorms.
In the front hall, Theresa asked,"Lou. Would you give Clara the quick tour of the museum?"
"Oh, sure," I said. I took her through the West Parlor, the East Parlor, the Period Kitchen, and then upstairs. In the children's bedroom, Clara said,"Okay, let's leave now. The dolls are creepy."
"They actually are," I admitted. "There's a story of a doll that walks around the museum at night, but that comes from a joke played by an intern. Don't worry---All the ghosts here are friendly ones."
We went back downstairs. Theresa said,"Everything's set up. You ready?"
"Yeah," I said. "Let me just go check the weather."
With Clara following me, I walked out the front door to the porch.
With a loud, sudden CRACK, the tree out front came down, crashing to the ground in front of the museum.
I propelled myself backward, knocking Clara back through the front door. The tree crashed to the ground and bounced, broken branches falling. Leaves blew past us into the front hall. The whole thing happened about as fast as someone could shout SHIT!, which, believe me, I was.
Everyone else came running to the door. I called,"Tree down. Millie! Jen! Run upstairs and check for broken windows!" Theresa's the team leader, and I defer to her. But the museum is my responsibilty.
I walked outside and inspected the damage. Millie and Jen told me no windows had broken. Then I called my boss at home.
"We got problems," I said. "There's a tree down."
"Is it that one out front?" the executive director, Anne, asked. "I've been saying we needed to get that one down for years."
"Well, it's down. We got tornado warnings here. It's in the front yard."
"Is it across the sidewalk? In the road?"
"Not in the road. It is lying across the sidewalk---There's not a damn thing I can do to move it."
"Who called you to report it?"
"Nobody---I was already here. The ghost hunters wanted to meet here tonight---The damn thing almost hit me when it came down."
"What damage?"
"Miraculously, not much. We lost the decorative knob off the gate, but nothing else---it's lying in the open gate."
"It fell through the gate?"
"I told you it was miraculous. The fountain may be a bit banged up, but nothing too major. And the gutter didn't even take much damage."
"Can Bob fix it?"
"With his hands. Seriously. That's how lucky we got."
"Okay. Call the comm center, then the tree removal people. Don't we have a tour Monday?"
"Yeah, but they'll just have to use the side door."

After a flurry of phone calls, the situation under control, we sat down in the East Parlor to do the investigation. With the video, the cameras, and the recorder running, we began our EVP session.
During the questioning, we heard a noise. Charlie said,"That was me---Taking a drink of water."
A moment later, there was another noise. I said,"Charlie's bottle."
"No," said Charlie. "It wasn't."
"It wasn't?"
Theresa and I checked the corner and took photos. We had an unexplained noise. Almost immediately, Clara heard another noise, which she thought came from upstairs.
Jen is the sensitive one in the group---While not really being psychic, she is very sensitive to the supernatural. She said,"I have goose bumps....And I feel like I have to cry. I don't like it."
"Lou," said Theresa,"Do we know when that tree was planted? Who put it there?"
"Maybe the Heiseys, or more likely, the Balls, when they owned the museum," I said. "When we get it cut up, I'll count the rings."
"Maybe the ghosts were throwing trees at us tonight," suggested Charlie.
"I don't know," I said slowly. "There's remarkably little damage. Nobody was hurt. I think, if the ghosts were involved, they were protecting us."

Later, during the team smoke break, we walked around and looked at what Jen would later call "The Great Tree Crash of 2010." I lit a cigar, and said,"I need one of these. In fact, I need the tavern artifact."
"Did you imbibe?" Theresa asked me, amused.
"No....It's an investigation, gotta remain professional. But if you guys are up for it, let's all pass it around."
The tree had fallen directly through the gate, mostly missing the fountain, not hitting the porch or the roof. Considering how bad it could have been, we had minimal damage. We'd taken worse when one of the tents had blown over.
"I gotta check the hole for artifacts," I said, and walked toward it. I looked at the gloriously undamaged museum, and at my friends.
"I'm glad you guys were here tonight."

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mariposa_verde7
Jul. 27th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Haha I was on the other side of the river in a tent when the storm hit. That thiing was crazy!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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